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Muscle Clenching/ Heavy Breathing?

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  • [Health-General] Muscle Clenching/ Heavy Breathing?

    Me and my girlfriend have an almost 1 year old red tail and lately, I have been noticing that she will exhibit this odd behavior quite frequently. She looks to almost be breathing heavily, as if her whole body is slowly clenching and then unclenching, etc. (no sounds of heavy breathing). It's to a point where you can see the movement from 10 feet away sometimes, and goes throughout most of her body. Other than this behavior, she seems completely normal, friendly, loves to be handles, will eat, and just finished a good shed recently. We have two heating pads set up under each side of the enclosure, cage temps read about 82-85 degrees...don't know humidity, but we mist her cage once a day...is this behavior normal or is there something else going on?

  • #2
    Re: Muscle Clenching/ Heavy Breathing?

    First of all I would like to know more about your enclosure ie..is it glass or wood, dimentions, or what gallon it is....second Im going to say that you should not have a heat pad on both sides of your boa's enclosure. Your Boa needs to have a warm/hot side that includes a hideout of some kind and it also needs to have a cool side with a water bowl large enough for it to soak in. You said the temps in your tank are 82-85 however there should be about a 10 degree difference between the hot and cool sides it is VERY IMPORTANT to give them that difference. It is also VERY IMPORTANT to know the humidity in your enclosure even if your Boa is shedding good and you are misting everyday. You can purchase a cheap digital humidity reader at a local walmart or pet store. To address the issue of the hard breathing my wife and I have 5 Boa's and all of them will take deep breaths however it is not something that they do constantly. I cannot give you any ideas as to what it could be but I can advise you to pay close attention to temps and humidity. if it becomes such a problem that causes you a great deal of concern take her to a vet to get a check......Good Luck.

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    • #3
      Re: Muscle Clenching/ Heavy Breathing?

      I'm not sure about the labored breathing and/or clenching. Maybe someone else can chime in on that as I haven't personally experienced anything like that. Here's a few tidbits I can offer, however...

      First of all you need a thermo gradient (hot side and cool side) so your boa can regulate it's own temperature. Usually you want a 10-12 degree difference. I like my hotside about 90 and my cool side about 78. A few degrees variance here or there is OK.

      Second, I would download and read The Ultimate Care Guide found in the left hand margin on the home page. It has a wealth of knowledge written by some of the foremost experts in our hobby.

      Third....Welcome to RTB.com!!

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      • #4
        Re: Muscle Clenching/ Heavy Breathing?

        Ha Ha, Niko and I must have been writing our reply at the same time!

        Great minds think alike!

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        • #5
          Re: Muscle Clenching/ Heavy Breathing?

          She can be nervous did you guys stop handling her for a while....

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          • #6
            Re: Muscle Clenching/ Heavy Breathing?

            The others covered everything else. How about a video of this behavior though?

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